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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lorelai is 2!







   

How in the heck has it been two years since our sweet little girls came into this world? Even though Lorelai has come so far and is thriving it's sometimes hard to fathom how we've gotten here.



This second year has been by far easier than the first. Once we got her on reflux meds it seems like our lives just got slightly easier. We still have several doctor appointments but we didn't seem to be fighting her as much with eating and she actually started to GAIN WEIGHT!!!

This second year has been a blessing. She is thriving with medications and feeding therapy. She is as feisty as she is sweet. She is super opinionated, independent and a little mean at times. She knows what she wants and she stops at nothing to get it.

This year instead of going somewhere alone, we rented and airbnb in Chicago and went to spend time with my mom and sister. It was super cold and I hated that we couldn't be outside comfortably but we enjoyed our time with family and seeing the museum of science and industry. We had a good time and we are grateful for the time we spent with family...and we let our family in on our newest addition which I think was a huge blessing. We told my mom on her birthday which I think helped shine a little light on a somewhat dark day for her which I was happy to provide her with some happiness on her day!
Morning bottle! happy birthday to our 2 year old!!
a little morning nap on the way to the museum.




        

They had this exhibit with a kitchen and it had dog bowls. She actually
loves dog food and was infatuated with the play dog bowls and food.
Playing in the water area they had at the museum. 
so the museum has this exhibit of babies preseved in each week of pregnancy
this is a 26 week babe....my how far we've come. 
Here's a little big about Lorelai at age 2.
  • she started walking in August and has been trying to run ever since to keep up with her brothers
  • She talks up a storm and is more vocal than the boys ever were at this age
    • she says several words but her first word was 'mama' :)
  • She has gotten a few teeth (6 total) 2 top teeth and 4 bottom ones.
  • She is eating more and more, but still prefers her bottles. 
    • we offer 3 meals a day and then will still give her 4-6 bottles a day fortified with heavy cream. --girl likes her milk! 
    • we are working on a sippy cup but she is unimpressed and per her Neo's orders we are to give her the bottle, we can fix her teeth later but not her brain. 
  • She LOVES books. She is always coming up to us asking us to read. I've been trying to be better about reading to her, and she truly enjoys it. I want to get more good books for them! 
  • She is a very happy and smiley kid. She loves to be around people and especially family. She is always quick to smile and come give mama kisses. 
    • I will ask her to come give me a kiss from across the room and she will come in running with the most adorable kiss face ever. 
  • She's still our champion sleeper. She goes down around 8:30-9 and will sleep until about 9 the next day. 
    • However she has started waking up at random times between midnight and 5am and playing in her crib for 2 hours. She runs back and forth, talks to someone and laughs hysterically. Adam and I think she's playing with Laynie. 
    • She would still like to nap twice a day and sometimes she does, but we are trying to get her on a more toddlersih schedule of napping once a day in the afternoon. Most days it works but only if after her early morning play session she goes back to sleep for a few hours. 
      • her afternoon nap is usually about 2-4 hours!!! 
  • She is not a fan of TV and will honestly not watch it. Slowly she has become more and more interested but for the most part if she does watch tv it's for under 2 min. 
  • She loves to do any and everything her brothers do and is constantly trying to keep up. 
  • She is a little mean and has been known to just push or shove other  kids for no reason...we're working on this!!
  • She's becoming more and more independent and wants to do things herself. 
  • She hates to have her hair brushed! It's BAD! screams bloody murder when we try to brush it, but it's slowly getting long enough for me to pull back into a pony tail, but Lincoln still LOVES to put in a headband bow. 
  • She loves to take showers and play in the water or she loves to be in the bathtub! 
  • She's wearing 12 month clothes but is starting to fit into more 18 months...watch out world she's getting big!!
Lorelai is such a joy to us and we can't help but look at her and be grateful. She is the perfect addition to our family and we are so proud of her spunk and fight, even if it may drive us little crazy at times. Every time she challenges us with her feisty personality we just can't help but be grateful. She's feisty yes, but because of the feistiness she's here and triving and some days we have to remember that more than others, but she is also so sweet, loves to get and give hugs and kisses and she loves her mama and dada! Though she still prefers mama shes warming up to her dad! 

Lastly I do have her 2 yr stats. 
  • She's 22lbs
    • that's the 3rd percentile or 5th percentile adjusted
  • She 31 inches 
    • which is also 3rd percentile or 5th percentile adjusted
Just for reference; Lincoln was 23lbs and 31.5 inches at 1 year old.....but hey growth is growth and she grew almost 7 lbs this year and I can't quite remember how long she was but she's sure grown in length too. 

Lorelai you're a joy, you're our miracle and we couldn't be more proud of the little girl you're turning into. Please continue to thrive with feeding, grow strong and be the light of our lives. We love you so much baby girl! Happy 2nd Birthday!!!

Some pictures from our weekend of celebrating the birthday trifecta. 
When your Daughters, mom and sisters' birthdays are a day a part, you eat lots of cake
Happy Birthday baby girl!
Blowing out the candles. 
My sweet family

Since we weren't at home I had to do our photoshoot at Stace and Ian's.
Perfect little 2 year old
Love her
Adam had gotten me flowers for Valentines day and she loved them.
So he decided to get her and Laynie flowers for their birthday.
 Pink ones for Lola and Purple for Laynie. 

No Birthday celebration would be complete without acknowledging and celebrating the girl who changed our lives for the better. Her life may have been short but the impact she has had on all of us has been everlasting. I'm a changed person because of her. I live each day as best I can and strive to walk a rightous path full of love, and kindness so that someday I will hold her in my arms again and never let her go. We did our annual balloon release and some of us wrote notes to her on the balloons. The boys really enjoy this tradition and we do too.          

Love you sweet Laynie. 
And of course we had to celebrate my mom and sister. I still can't believe that the 3 of them have birthdays so close.

Lola loves to blow out candles. 
The birthday trifecta! March 3, 4 and 5th!
We decided to have a birthday party this year for the girls and invite more than just immediate family. Last year my heart just wasn't in it. It was hard enough to celebrate Lorelai let alone be with anyone other than the 5 of us. But this year I was feeling much more celebratory. We'd been having such a mild winter and early spring so I had hoped to celebrate her birthday at a park but of course the ONE day I chose it was FREEZING out, so we moved the party to my parents. 
It was a great day celebrating BOTH our girls. Everyone doted on our miracle and then we did another balloon release to celebrate Laynie's birthday too. I'm unsure if we will always do this or if it will be something we eventually stop, but for me, for right now I can't have a birthday party without acknowledging Laynie. Its her birthday too.
"Family is not always about blood, sometimes its about who is there
to hold your hand and support you when you need it most."

Lorelai's 2 year pictures had to be pushed back a month due to my work schedule and spring break schedule of our photographer. However She did get us squeezed in for a few pregnancy annoucement pictures.
Chafin Family of 7!

We got her pictures done in April and they are perfect. Just like her!!! 
Love this girl
Big Siblings
sweet babes
Love these 5
My sweet Family
This is my favorite picture, probably ever. When you lose a child you always wonder what life would be like with that child. you wonder what that child would be like. It's hard, every day is a struggle. When we lost Laynie I of course mourned her, but we mourned so much more than that. We mourned the relationship that was and what could have been between each of her siblings and especially Lorelai. I have to say that when I first saw this picture I was taken aback because the bear she is holding is our Laynie Bear. It's a bear that was made for us that represents our girl. This picture represents what I believe Lorelai and Laynie's relationship would be like.  So with this last picture. Happy Birthday to our beautiful Girls. We love you dearly and we are so grateful to you both!!!


Monday, June 26, 2017

Journey to another Babe

Adam and I have always wanted a large family. After unexpectedly getting pregnant with the girls and all the uncertainty that came with carrying them we weren't always 100% sure that we wanted more children. I remember one of my MFM doctors asking me if we were done having kids while we were still pregnant with the girls. I remember telling him, "tell me both these girls will survive and I will be". He had asked me this while I was still early around 23ish weeks with the girls. The reason he had asked this was because we knew I was going to have a C-section and at the gestation that we were talking about it, I was going to have to have a classical incision, that means they pretty much cut you stem to sternum. The problem with this is, it makes carrying any future pregnancies harder because of the tension that full term babies put on your incision. He told me that if I were to have any future kids with a classical incision they would have to do a repeat C-section at 34/35 weeks which would mean any future kids we would have would automatically be NICU babies. Once he said that wasn't sure I would, I didn't want to set up any more kids for early deliveries and I wasn't sure I'd ever want to go thought something like that again. Well thankfully come delivery day with the girls we had gotten almost 4 weeks more with them than we had originally anticipated and we were able to get a transverse incision which not only insured that we wouldn't HAVE to deliver early, but that I would also be given a fighting chance to have a VBAC!

I also remember several of Lorelai's NICU nurses asking me if we planned to have any more kids. While it was quite premature to ask that considering we had just lost Laynie and she was still a wee babe in the NICU I remember thinking that yes I would have more. My family didn't feel complete. Though would it ever feel complete since Laynie was resting in our hearts instead of in our arms?

Losing Laynie and dealing with the minor issues of Lorelai being premature left Adam and I feeling drained most days. Having to balance her therapies and doctors appointments weren't always easy. And honestly dealing with the constant pain from losing Laynie left us wondering if we would ever be ready to have another baby.

We slowly began to adjust to our new normal and realized that perhaps we would want another babe. So we decided this past fall that we might be ready and began to truly think about having another babe. I didn't want to be pregnant at my sister's wedding so we had decided once we got home we would just see what God had in store for us.

Well come January I decided to take a pregnancy test. I wasn't sure if I was pregnant or not, but I was a few days late. Though I wasn't completely regular since finishing pumping 8 months prior, I had a sneaking suspicion. And sure enough it was positive. I immediately felt joy and excitement, followed by anxiety, nervousness and fear and a little bit of sadness.  Of course I took the test without Adam knowing or him being home. I was wracking my brain to figure out how to tell him. Well I had to work that night and Adam was running late so I never got to see him. So we were talking on my way into work and he was talking about having another babe and I couldn't contain the excitement or wait until we actually had time together to tell him so I simply said. "how about in September". The joy and excitement that came through his voice was so heartwarming. His excitement made me so happy. I wasn't sure how excited he would be, or how he would react. I mean it's baby #5, but his excitement was as strong as it was with any of the other ones which helped to ease some of my nerves.


Being pregnant after a loss is definitely hard. The emotions you go through on a daily basis is unreal, not to mention all those hormones that make things that much more difficult. All in all I am very happy and excited to be having another baby, but this time my nerves are getting to me. I'm scared that something will be wrong with this babe, I'm scared of how I will react once I have this babe, I'm nervous that due to delivering early last time that I will do the same thing this time. I'm worried Laynie will feel like we are replacing her. I feel guilty for not being 100% happy. But with talking to Adam about all my roller coaster of emotions has helped. I would very much like to have twins again simply because I want to know what it is like to raise twins. I know that I will always be a twin mom. But I want to know the challenges and all that, that is associated with raising them! But after my first ultrasound we learned there is just one babe in there and it appears to be healthy and viable! which truly as much as wanting twins is the most important thing. We truly just want a healthy babe no matter if it is one or two babes.

Honestly after I got over the wee bit of disappointment learning it was just one babe I began to feel quite excited and happy that we were having a healthy baby. So to our future little one... Please be safe in my belly, grow big and stay inside until close to your due date, but I can't wait to hold and snuggle your sweet little face.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Landon is 3!

Oh my sweet baby boy!!! Landon Richard Kalvin how are you 3 (well 3 1/2 now that I'm finally getting around to writing this)! Though it feels like we've had you around forever, it's hard to believe that you're 3! I swear just yesterday you were my little nugget who had these huge thighs and this big wide open grin that melted my heart.

I just adore you. Your zest for life is unmatched. Your sweet, kind, and all boy. You're  definitely mama's boy and I could not love you more. You have a love that is unmatched and your smile, quirkiness and zeal are infectious.

You have slowly blossomed into your role of BIG brother and you have a love for your siblings that isn't always super expressive but you are only 3. You adore your brother and are always up for playing trains, trucks or other construction equipment with him.

You're starting to like your sister more and more and you do a great job of looking out for her and ensuring she's safe. When it's just the two of you, you two are so fun to watch as your relationship and love for each other grows.

You have really grown into a beautiful little toddler. You're smart and you love to learn, even though your attention span is not very long. You always want to help me with cooking or baking but mainly to lick the beaters!

You have become quite the little prayer warrior. Your ability to recite our daily prayers is precious and you always make sure we pray before meals and we say our nightly prayer to Laynie. You always want to make sure we don't forget about her and I love how you want to talk about her often. I love knowing that your dad and I are raising you to never forget her and appreciate all your siblings both here and in heaven!

This coming year you are going to start preschool and my heart hurts a little to lose some time with you but I know you will do great.

You have grown quite a bit too

  • You grew 3.75 inches and are in the 80th% for height
  • You gained 6 lbs and are still in the 50th% for weight


Your dad and I just love you so much Landoman and we love getting to be the ones you call mom and Dad. You're a blessing and we are so fortunate to have you as our son.














Lincoln is 5

OH my sweet Lincoln Robert Knox Chafin. How are you 5 (well closer to 5 1/2 now as I write this). You're a light and I love you so very much. You have blossomed into one of the most precious tiny humans.

This year you completed your first year of preschool and began your second year. I can't believe I've already registered you for Kindergarten! My heart is definitely going to hurt when you leave me EVERYDAY.

This year you have really grown into your role as BIG brother. You care so deeply at such a young age for your brother and your sisters. While you have your moments of being 5, mostly with your brother, you're quick to apologize and realize what you did was wrong. You're so good at sharing most of your toys with Landon, and you're an amazing big brother to Lorelai.  You are most definitely her fiercest protector and are always looking out for her and finding ways to help her if she needs you.

The bond you share with Landon is something I truly feel blessed to witness, you two are kindred souls with your love of all things trains, trucks and construction equipment. You two play so nicely together and most of the time are two peas in a pod.

The bond you share with Lorelai is something that brings tears to my eyes. To be able to witness what unconditional love is through the eyes of a 5 year old is magical. You're love for her is beautiful and I appreciate all you do for her and I hope that the two of you will always have this bond.

Your love for your sister Laynie is beautiful. You always want to include her in everything we do. I know you understand that she is gone, but you're helping your dad and I realize that we are doing a beautiful thing in raising you boys to never forget her.

Lincoln you have a variety of interests but most of all you just want to help. You LOVE to help in the kitchen with preparing meals, and most especially helping me bake. You also always love to jump in and help your dad with whatever he is making in the kitchen or on the grill. You are much like your mother when it comes to helping papa and have quickly become his little shadow when it comes to home improvements.

You have done a great job in learning your letters and writing your name. You are always eager to learn and to try new things.

You have grown quite a bit this year too.

  • you grew 2 inches and are 44.5 inches or in the 75th percentile
  • you gained 5 lbs and are 45lbs with is also around the 78th percentile. 
you truly are a blessing to your dad and I and we love you so much! Happy 5th Birthday. Thank you for being our beautiful Baby boy, always.